Transport minister tells of ‘traumatising’ robbery on N3
Three assailants held Sindisiwe Chikunga and her entourage at gunpoint when they stopped to replace their vehicle’s burst tyre
Transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga was robbed at 3am on Monday after her vehicle’s tyre burst on the N3 between Vosloorus and Heidelberg.
“It was traumatising, devastating and bad,” Chikunga told MPs on Monday.
“After the burst tyre, we drove quite a distance until the rim was on the road. So we had to stop to change the tyre,” she said.
Though accompanied by two armed bodyguards who proceeded to replace the burst tyre, three balaclava-clad men appeared and held them at gunpoint.
Chikunga was also travelling with her brother. When they heard a commotion outside the vehicle she attempted to call the police but the men entered the car and held a gun to her head, demanding cash.
“It was three well-dressed men — not usual criminals. They forced me out, told me to sit and demanded money. They said, ‘we know you have money, give us your money’.
“They were speaking isiZulu but understood English. Decent boys, around the ages of late 20s, early 30s, fit.
“They also asked me who was my protector. That was strange as normal South Africans would say ‘bodyguards’, not ‘protectors’,” she added.
The men took the bodyguards firearms and other items of value. As they were finishing, one of the men noticed Chikunga’s wedding ring.
“One saw my ring ... he tried to take it but I refused. He pointed his firearm at me. I was scared he would shoot me because they had nothing to lose — they could shoot and kill and then run away.
“I told him it was the only thing I have between my late husband and myself and I value it so much. He said OK and left it. When they were leaving the one said, ‘There are police members here and I hate police. I feel like killing the police’. And then they left.
“I'm OK now but it was traumatising,” she said.
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